All Posts Tagged With: "Bill 78"
From the turmoil of Quebec to the rise of the West
It was a record year for Maclean’s On Campus with more readers than ever, but perhaps that’s unsurprising considering how much there was to talk about. Based on clicks and comments, here are the top five campus news stories of 2012.
1. Quebec student groups helped toss a government and won a tuition freeze.
In March, Quebec student groups declared war on a planned tuition hike of roughly $2,000 over five years. By April, students at 11 of Quebec’s 18 universities and 14 of its 48 CEGEPs had declared “strikes” and were skipping classes. There were nightly marches in Montreal that made life miserable for many who lived and worked downtown. Students who dared go to classes, even after judges orders allowing them to return, were stopped by masked protesters. The nightly marches started turning violent and threatened the tourism industry. Something had to be done.
Premier-designate will cancel tuition hikes by cabinet decree
Premier-designate Pauline Marois says she will do her best to push ahead the more contentious parts of her campaign platform despite her minority-government status.
Marois, whose Parti Quebecois won 54 of the province’s 125 ridings on Tuesday, conceded the difficulty of the task ahead given that the Liberals have 50 members and Francois Legault’s Coalition party has 19.
In an indication of her political limitations, Marois never once referred to an independence referendum during her post-election news conference and no reporter bothered asking about one.
She said she will try to make progress on the more divisive parts of her platform — those dealing with language, culture and federal-provincial relations — but will need to seek consensus from the other parties.
Suit says not enough done to allow access to classes
A class-action lawsuit is being organized by young Quebecers frustrated because they say they were hurt by the province’s student strikes.
The motion to sue 25 universities and junior colleges, as well as the Quebec government, was announced Thursday by students and their lawyers.
The plaintiffs say not enough was done to let them have access to their classrooms and complete their courses.
One says she will get her nursing diploma six months late, which will cost her financially.
19 under investigation after disruptions by demonstrators
Quebec’s controversial back-to-school law was wielded for the first time ever by Montreal police after showdowns involving masked protesters disrupted the reopening of universities Monday.
Authorities opened investigations into 19 people at Universite de Montreal for allegedly violating provisions of Bill 78, a police spokesman said.
The announcement came on the first day of university as crowds of demonstrators entered classrooms, noisily banging on pots, pulling fire alarms and blowing on air horns while ordering students to leave.
At Universite du Quebec a Montreal, in particular, the crowds worked their way from one room to another, emptying classes in any faculty that had voted to keep striking. That led to confrontations with security, staff and those students who wanted to study.
Masked protesters descend on U. de Montreal and UQAM
The calm of summer is being shattered with the return to school of Quebec universities, where some classes are being disrupted as protesters disobey the back-to-school law.
Chaotic scenes, which are reminiscent of those seen across the province in the spring, have suddenly flared up this morning after a relatively quiet summer.
Masked protesters at the Universite de Montreal warned a news photographer that he had better not try taking pictures of them: “Be careful,” she told him. “They’re going to take care of you.”
The provincial emergency law, known as Bill 78, sets stiff fines for people who block classrooms.
Disruptions at Montreal university force class cancellation
Several classes at a Montreal university are being disrupted as students disobey Quebec’s back-to-school law.
Small groups of students at Universite du Quebec a Montreal, armed with lists, are seeking out classrooms in faculties where students voted to remain on strike.
They are interrupting the classes by shouting and shutting off the lights. Some of the classes are being cancelled.
The provincial emergency law, known as Bill 78, sets stiff fines for people who block classrooms.
The vast majority of Quebec’s students have voted to end their strikes, and the student unrest has hardly been an issue in the current provincial election campaign.
Today’s events as universities reopen, however, are a flashback to events that captured international attention last spring.
—The Canadian Press
School restarts during final days of election campaign
Peter Rakobowchuk, The Canadian Press
As the Quebec election campaign enters its final week, the focus could switch back to the student protests that dominated headlines earlier this year.
The student issue has gotten such little attention so far that it was even ignored in the only televised debate featuring all four leaders.
It could be catapulted back to the foreground on Monday. That’s the day classes are resuming at many Quebec universities and there’s talk that students will again try to block classes.
Watchdog says it’s immoral to mention Canada
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights included criticism for Quebec’s Bill 78 in the annual report she gave to the UN Human Rights Council on Monday in Geneva, Switzerland.
Navi Pillay expressed “disappointment” in Quebec’s emergency law while outlining similar “concern” about restrictions in Russia and Eritrea.
Bill 78, the emergency law passed by Quebec’s government on May 18, was meant to quell months of student protests that prevented many students from attending classes and led to vandalism of businesses in Montreal.
Students who don’t risk losing credits
Students at 14 Quebec CEGEPs (junior colleges) who have been ordered back to classes in August by the controversial Bill 78 have until Friday to confirm their plans to finish their stalled terms, reports the Montreal Gazette. If they do not agree to return to school when classes resume (on Aug. 17 at most CEGEPs), they will be assigned zeros in all of the courses they started in January.
No deal has been made between students opposed to Quebec’s tuition hike, which last pegged at $1,778 over seven years. The hike prompted a “general strike” that shut down many CEGEPs.
An in-depth look at the nightly protests in Montreal
For the last month, thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of Montreal in what might be described as a schizophrenic display of righteous, pacifist outrage and opportunistic violence. Beginning at about 8 p.m. every night since late April, they gather at Place Émilie-Gamelin, a squared-off chunk of grass and outsized public chessboards formerly best known as downtown Montreal’s go-to spot for public drunkenness and illicit drugs. From there, the crowd marches off in a direction chosen by whoever happens to be in front. Purposefully, no one knows where the protest march is going.
Forget tuition. It’s all about Law 78 now.
For the past five days, it has begun each night at around eight p.m. Thousands of people across the City of Montreal step out of their homes, into the street, and start banging on pots and pans.
On Friday night in Saint-Henri, southwest of downtown, I watched a small crowd gather at the local metro station. The protest seemed to have no organizers—most had just followed the sound.
It was the same story on Sunday in the Plateau. People on balconies and staircases banged on pots and pans. At one intersection, a couple families marched around in a little circle.
Law 78 not used
A demonstration in Montreal on Tuesday to mark 100 days of class boycotts over tuition was calmer than expected. Though some estimate crowds in the hundreds of thousands, Montreal Police arrested just over 100 people.
They did not—as was widely reported this morning—use a new law, 78, that makes demonstrations of more than 50 people illegal if organizers haven’t submitted an itinerary at least eight hours in advance to police.*
CLASSE, the most vocal student group behind the protests, also known as the “student strike,” refused to tell police of its plans.
Political scientist Emmett Macfarlane weighs in
If you’ve listened to some of the commentary about Bill 78, emergency legislation purportedly designed to deal with the out-of-control student protests in Quebec, you’d assume the government has thrown a match onto a powder keg.
Some may have hoped that in the midst of its massive, ongoing failure to deal with the protests these past few months, the Charest government might finally turn the corner by passing a law to settle things down. This was sadly – though somehow not surprisingly – optimistic. Apparently no one knows how to sour a lemon like Jean Charest.
Occupy, Anonymous and Michael Moore join students
Quebec student group CLASSE said Monday that it will continue to encourage protests against tuition hikes in the province—at least until students are forced back to classes in August.
They plan to defy Law 78, which passed in the National Assembly on Friday. The law allows for fines of $1,000 to $125,000 for individuals and groups who prevent students from attending classes. It also requires demonstration organizers to inform police in writing of their plans, and has thus been criticized as unconstitutional.
A large protest is planned for Tuesday afternoon in Montreal. It marks 100 days since the first students walked out of classes and joined the “grande grève illimitée” or “unlimited general strike.”
Busloads of protesters left Gatineau this morning to attend the Montreal rally, reports CBC.
Intense debate in Quebec’s National Assembly
Sweeping legislation to get students back to classes while restoring order to Montreal is being debated again today in the Quebec’s National Assembly after a marathon session last night.
If Bill 78 is made law, police could fine student groups, labour union officials, and individuals who prevent an enrolled student from attending classes at a university or CEGEP. Despite court injunctions, protesters have frequently blocked students from legally attending classes this year. On Wednesday, protesters stormed into UQAM where some stood on desks shouting “scabs.”
Demonstrations within 50 metres of a higher education institution would fall under the act.
The law would also require people organizing a demonstration of 50 or more to inform police eight hours in advance. They would also need to provide certain details of their plans.
Individuals who violate the law would be fined $1,000 to $5,000 per day. Student leaders would face fines of up to $35,000. Student and labour union employees could be charged up to $125,000.